Sunday, July 03, 2005

Blast in Kosovo

Escaping the attention of most people this weekend, there was yet another series of coordinated explosions in Kosovo. With everything else in the news, this story is not likely to get more than passing mention. I had to hunt the AP and Reuters to find any reference other than Yahoo. But for people who live there it is nothing trivial.

PRISTINA, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) -- At least three blasts rocked the center of Kosovo's capital on Saturday, and one targeted the U.N. mission headquarters.
An Associated Press reporter saw at least three U.N. vehicles set ablaze in the parking lot of the U.N. mission headquarters in Pristina.
There were no immediate reports of any injuries after at least three near-simultaneous blasts, said Hua Jiang, chief U.N. spokeswoman.
The second blast detonated near the building of the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe, the OSCE, which is a block away from the U.N. compound.
The third blast went off near the Kosovo government building which also houses the province's parliament and damaged it slightly, said Jiang. She did not say what caused the blasts.
Police sealed off the areas after the explosions.
The first thing I thought about when I read this was Risawn, girl warrior-blogger now on a tour of duty in Kosovo. Sure enough, her blog mentioned the blast, but not as I expected. Check this out

You wanna know something that's funny? In a strange sort of unfunny way?
This was the first time I heard about it.
The basics of Kosovo, it's split up into four sections, MultiNational Brigade (MNB)
Northeast is run by the French, Center was in control of the British but recently transferred to the Finnish, West was controlled by the Italians but merged with Southwest and is controlled by the Germans. East is controlled by theAmericans. Pristina, which is where the UN Headquarters are located, is located in KFOR MNB-Center. We go up there from time to time, because KFOR Main is located there.
This isn't the first time the UN Headquarters have been bombed.
The UN is dawdling with what they want to do with Kosovo, as whether or not Kosovo gets transferred back to Serbia (which will cause the Ethnic Albanians to riot and go to war against Serbia), given Independence (which will cause Serbia to get upset as they don't want to lose Kosovo which is a huge part of their culture and history) or just left a protectorate of the UN for a few more years until everyone decides to get along (which will cause both groups to get impatient, and probably cause the Albanians to Riot).
I predict, and this is just my opinion and has nothing to do which side I'm for or against, as America has tried to portray themselves as a Neutral Force between the Serbians and the Albanians of Kosovo (Serbia itself has recently been declared neither an Ally nor an Enemy, but rather a 'competitor') where our task is to keep the peace until the fate of this land is decided. But I predict that Kosovo will eventually get its independence. Ethnic Albanians are 90% of the population of Kosovo. And Serbia wants to join the EU so they need to play Nice.
And the Albanians here love Americans. I think it is the one predominantly Muslim region in the world that really loves the Americans. They have a freakin' shrine to Bill Clinton, I kid you not. He is their hero. . .It was predicted that there would be some tension about this time here in Kosovo due to people getting impatient with the UN. KFOR has a mission slightly different then the UN's, our job is to keep the peace, pure and simple, while the UN decides what to do.The people of this country are bombing the UN headquarters (which is thankfully fairly far away from the US Base Camp) because they are growing impatient with the UN. We haven't had very many problems with the people of Kosovo, other then they drive like maniacs. That's where most of the danger in this region is, on the road.

She has pictures, too. Take a look at her blog.
So when something happens in the world, who do you think I'm gonna trust, news reports or a blogger on the ground? Which one is more apt to "tell it like it is"?

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